Party over person
This refers to ‘RSS gives L.K. Advani illusion of choice’ (IE, March 21). Opposed to Narendra Modi’s elevation as the prime ministerial candidate of the party, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani had stayed away from the national executive meet in Goa in June 2013. But he had to bow under RSS pressure and accept Modi as first among equals in the party. Once again, Advani is sulking. This time over ticket distribution.
Even though the party gave him a ticket from Gandhinagar, he initially seemed reluctant to contest from there and indicated that he preferred to stand from Bhopal. The stand-off continued until the RSS stepped in and calmed things down. Advani has ultimately agreed to contest from Gandhinagar. But this episode has shown him in poor light. At a time when the BJP seems set to sweep the polls, the patriarch should put the party’s interests above his own.
— M.C. Joshi
As usual, L.K. Advani revolted against the BJP leadership. This time for having been denied the chance to stand from Bhopal instead of his present Gandhinagar seat. And this time too he fell in line under pressure. If he feels better believing that he had a choice, as he claimed he did, in the matter of where he stood for elections from, then so be it. Advani had no option but to accept the party’s decision to contest from Gandhinagar. This episode reinforces the fact that the RSS has the final say in the party’s affairs. No leader can dare to go against its decision.
— Satwant Kaur
Babu to neta
This refers to Yogendra Narain’s excellent, candid, analytical and comprehensive article ‘Babu who would be neta’ (IE, March 21). The phenomenon of retired bureaucrats joining political parties is a healthy one. It has the power to reform our currently toxic polity. Retired civil servants have tremendous administrative experience and are mostly sincere in their intentions to address the problems of the country.
— S.G. Mirajgaonkar
It would indeed be wonderful if our politicians learned to laugh with us and at themselves (‘Let’s undermine dignity’, IE, March 21). We could draw inspiration from a story about two great public figures of the past. In 1931, Albert Einstein attended the premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s movie, City Limits,in Los Angeles. A huge crowd cheered wildly when they saw Einstein and Chaplin together. “They cheer me because they all understand me,” Chaplin told Einstein, “and they cheer you because no one understands you.” How apt this exchange is for Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.
— R.P. Subramanian